At the end of day 9, Orange II is still blasting along at 22 kts towards the south in 20 knots of trade winds. Early this morning, the giant gained 10° towards the east - and the direct route.
Today should be favourable, and the crew will probably be able to swallow precious miles. With the trade winds and the flat seas, the giant cat just flies over the surface of the water. Tomorrow, the wind should shift again to the north east, allowing the crew too send more canvas up and thus pick up more speed. Philippe PÉCHÉ and Yann ELIÈS traded places this morning at 5:00, and everything's fine on board.
Bruno PEYRON: 'It shifted a bit to the left this morning, and we're trying to keep going south. We could sail faster if we decided to take a more western route, but we prefer to keep our trajectory which will allow us to catch up on the next weather system tomorrow. We're sailing upwind between 20 and 25 kts, and it's quite a ride. Tomorrow, with the wind shift, we'll be able to sail under full main, staysail and gennaker. After that, we'll go through a transition zone, a narrow passage towards yet another system. Right now, the boat is literally flying above the small waves generated by the trade winds. We're always sailing on 'a hull and a half', which optimises the speed and is a relief for the boat. Yesterday we had a magnificent sunrise under the windward hull. On board, the atmosphere is still great, and we don't have any damage to report, except for a small tear in the staysail. As usual, each crewmember does his surveillance job at the end of the watch. We're still keeping an eye on the Vendée Globe. We spoke with Jojo (Sébastien Josse) on the phone, we'll call him again before he reaches Les Sables d'Olonne. The race has been great, what a finish! Tell the guys we think about them, even though we're a bit too far away to be on the arrival line'.
Key figures (5:00 AM, 02 February 2005)
Day at sea: 9
Start: Monday January 24 2005 - 10:03'07'' GMT).
Latitude : 12 36.84' S
Longitude : 28 40.76' W
Instant speed:19.2 kts
Instant heading: 172°
Avg speed: 23.1 kts
Avg speed over 24 hours: 22.1 kts
Distance over 24hours: 530 mn
Avg speed since the start: 20,1 knots
Distance covered: 4239 nm